Most advertising stinks.
For instance, this has probably happened to you: some hotshot salesperson came walking into your place of business or contacted you online and told you that you’ve got to get your name out there.
Get your name out there? Um, what exactly does that mean?
“You know, get your name out there. Like Pepsi and Chevrolet or maybe Goodyear with their blimp.”
It makes me want to scream, “Go away!”
See, here’s the thing. You are most likely not like Pepsi or Chevrolet with unlimited resources to just get your name out there – and you probably don’t have easy access to a blimp. That’s not the way you run your business, or at least it shouldn’t be. If the big esoteric task of brand building is your game, then what I have to say is not for you. STOP reading this article. I mean it!
On the other hand, if you are like the 99% of small business owners or Entrepreneurs who are dissatisfied with the results you are currently getting from your advertising then what I’m about to say IS for you. The only type of advertising that you should be doing is what we call “Direct Response Advertising.” This is advertising that is measurable and accountable. In other words, this is advertising that works.
So, if you are looking for advertising that produces real results – then we are about to become fast friends.
My friend and business partner Dan Kennedy put it best: “The kind of advertising that you want to do is the kind where you pay for it with a check on Monday and it generates enough money so that you can cover the check by Thursday.”
Direct Response, NOT BRANDING
Direct response advertising asks the customer to respond and allows you to track that response. Brand building on the other hand is advertising that gets the name of your business, products, or services out there but you have no earthly idea whether or not it is paying for itself.
It’s that simple.
Ninety-nine percent of all businesses cannot even think about brand building. Brand building will simply make you go broke. You may be told it will multiply your profits but I contend that you can’t multiply zeroes.
The kind of advertising I advocate does more than just get your name out there. It gets your message, your offer and your deadline out there. Here it is, come and get it. Direct Response Advertising does three specific things:
It makes an offer
It gives a deadline
It allows you to track response
Often Direct Response Leads to Branding
If you do want to get your name out there then I have some very good news for you. When you do Direct Response advertising and especially if you do OUTRAGEOUS Direct Response advertising (the kind that I teach), you often get the byproduct benefit of branding.
People start to know who you are while they are being urged to take direct action.
For instance, I sent out 18 pieces of direct mail a year for my business at Gage Menswear. Because of this exposure I knew that if I stopped advertising to my customers for a while they would still keep coming in the store. Plus, I also knew from various national consumer surveys that are conducted that my stores had the highest recognition factor of all of the competitors that were in my same category (Menswear retailers).
You really do get the benefit of branding through Direct Response advertising but the best news is you don’t have to directly pay for it.
Three Piles of Advertising
In order to get the best return on your advertising budget, you must first understand a basic concept – people divide all advertising into three categories.
The easiest way to explain it is visualize three piles of mail. I call these three piles – “A” (the YES pile), “B” (the MAYBE pile), and “C” (the NO pile).
The “A” – pile is what you absolutely have to look at this instance
The “B” pile is advertising that you think you might be interested in, but just not sure about and you set it aside for now
The “C” pile is advertising that you absolutely have no interest in at all
Fooled you with that “B” pile, didn’t I?
The truth is that we think we divide our advertising into only two piles… either YES or NO, but the truth is that much of the advertising we look at falls into the MAYBE pile as well. The MAYBE pile is often overlooked by most entrepreneurs and it costs them a bunch of money. Not me. I don’t overlook it. In fact, I teach how to use it to your advantage.
Yes or No – or Maybe Later
The two top choices are clear and simple.
The “A” pile, which is same as the “Yes” pile contains the things you must look at immediately. You feel compelled.
For instance, if you take a medical test and you are waiting for results to be sent to you my mail. Those results are part of the “A” pile. Yes, you want to open those immediately. It’s the same as if you receive your child’s report card. This pile is not to be ignored because it is information you want and need.
The “C” pile, which is the “No” pile, is exactly the opposite of the “A” pile. As soon as you see who it is from you know you are not interested.
For instance, if you recently purchased gutters for your home you are not going to be interested at all in an advertisement for gutters. Gutters? The answer is no – “C” pile.
However, life’s choices are not always that simple.
Sometimes in business no doesn’t mean no. It just may not mean yes. Instead, it may mean, “Let me think about it.”
And though neither “No” or “Maybe Later” are a successful sale, there is a huge difference between the two and a successful business recognizes the opportunity of a “Maybe Later.”
Of course, this means first recognizing the possibility of “Maybe Later” as an answer. And that’s a challenge for many businesses that don’t understand the basic psychology of a customer – EVERY customer.
Options Equal Opportunities
Everyone is afraid of being sold.
And though the chances of a customer actually acting impulsively when something is interesting can be high, your first impression is not your only opportunity to reach a customer. Of course, that first impulse is where OUTRAGEOUS has the most power but there is second part to it – the memorable part. Besides meaning, “Look here,” OUTRAGEOUS means “remember.”
And so simply understanding that the “B” pile – the “Maybe Later” pile even exists is a start towards figuring out what to do with it.
Let’s first look at two facts:
FACT #1: People want an alternative to “Yes” or “No.” There are things that interest us but not enough to make an immediate decision.
FACT #2: People often want information without the pressure human interaction brings. Sometimes it’s just easier to read or listen to a recording at your own convenience.
Understanding these two facts can set you on the path towards knowing how to deal with being in the “B” pile, and getting the potential customers to take you from the “B” to the “A” pile.
So, we’ve seen two facts. Here is…
FACT #3: If you ignore them they will ignore you. You may be in the “B” pile, but you are not alone. Your potential customer is concerned with many things and you are most likely not at the top of the list. Hey, it’s not right. But it’s life, and it’s business.
People want to be reminded that they are important. Everyone wants love. But as much as that, they want options – ways to respond and times to respond. It’s, of course, important to have deadlines, but it’s just as important to let customers know that they can browse, shop, and buy AT THEIR CONVENIENCE.
Information, especially in our modern connected times, is incredibly easy to provide in an astonishing variety of formats including:
- Phone recordings
- Web pages
- Free Reports
Although the goal of your advertising is to get immediately into the “A” pile, you must keep in mind the overall concept of what you are doing.
You are actually brand building by default when you land in the “B” pile. Either you are remembered or you are not. And the best way to be remembered, of course, is to offer something so good that the customer wants to directly respond. And so like all the greatest of arguments, mine is circular and my circle encloses your profits.
Options Equal Profits
Once you figure out that you actually can move people from the Maybe Later “B” pile to the Yes “A” pile, you can then discover amazing ways to leverage your position. By simply not ignoring this customer option, you are ahead of 90 percent of all businesses that think in terms of “Yes” and “No.”
Yet “Maybe Later” is a tricky category that requires due diligence. One of the best ways to move people into the “A” pile from the “B” pile is through sequential marketing, which I talk a lot about in Chapter 9 in my best-selling book, “OUTRAGEOUS Advertising That’s OUTRAGEOUSLY Successful.”
And though that customer who put you into the “B” pile is a challenge, I look at this person as someone who actually wants to be a customer. How can you ignore someone like this?
My message is that you can’t and you shouldn’t ignore a “Maybe Later” customer because that customer is really a great prospect.
It’s just a matter of paying attention until you are paid profits. Customers that think “Maybe Later” are thinking of reasons not to buy and your job is to give them reasons to buy.
How do you give them such reasons?
Well, you give options on how to find you and then you remind them, over and over in OUTRAGEOUS ways, that you are their best option for whatever it is that you sell.
- Branding is too expensive for 99 percent of all businesses.
- Direct response advertising must always have an offer and a deadline.
- Direct response advertising can lead to brand building, but you never want to buy brand building advertising
- There are three possible responses to every ad – “Yes”, “No”, or “Maybe Later.”
- When you pay attention to the “Maybe Later” customers, your profits will soar.